Chapter Nine: Late Twentieth-Century United States Courts: Monumentality, Security, and Eclectic Imagery

“The next landmark in a narration of the history of federal courts and of federal building is the commitment by Congress to replace, expand, and renovate hundreds of courthouse facilities.”

Renovation, Rent and William Rehnquist

  • Court Design Guides
    • Rescaling the Proportions
    • Routing Circulation to Avoid Contact
    • Dedicated Courtrooms
  • Negotiating Rent and Space
    • Cutting into the Judicial Dollar
    • Inter-Agency, Inter-Branch Oversight or Intrusion
    • “Rent Relief”
    • A Courtroom of One’s Own
  • Judicial Political Acumen and Incongruity: The Rehnquist Judiciary’s monuments to Federal Adjudication


  • Selecting Community-Friendly Art to “stand the test of time”
  • Collaborative Diversity
  • Quietly Quizzical: Tom Otterness in Portland, Oregon and Jenny Holzer in Sacramento, California
  • “Plop art” and Building Norms